When I stumbled upon the term magical thinking I immediately thought it was a good thing. It smacked of innovative, visionary brainwork, you know the intuitive, inspirational musings which inspire great works of art? The word magic has held for me a deep ambitious yearning, which I classify as awe inspiring. My fascination with all things magic may have started when I was a child, because I remember watching a popular television show called, “I Dream of Jeannie”. I remember wanting more than anything else to be like her. With just one blink I could be anywhere or have anything in the world. If wishing could only make it so! I suppose it was not unlike my belief in Santa Claus except Jeannie was a woman and her magic happened everyday!
It’s nice to fantasize. It’s nice to believe that all we have to do is imagine something, put a little effort towards getting it and abracadabra it will soon be ours. This slant is often used in a new age twist called, “The Law of Attraction”. The popularity of this belief system caught on and fire balled into an industry when Oprah Winfrey got behind a movie called, “The Secret”, which in my humble opinion is a stab at proselytizing magical thinking in a society that could use anything but. Don’t get me wrong. I believe in having dreams for the future and goals to achieve. I also believe that we won’t always be successful and that failure is an integral part of life. But if the “Law of Attraction”, (which has been taught for decades before the movie ever came out), teaches us anything useful it is that, “like attracts like”, but if you don’t understand the deeper meaning behind the concept you run the risk of engaging Magical thinking and when the magic doesn’t happen, you think you have done something wrong and then your thoughts can keep you stuck in a cycle of shame and denial that perpetuates failure instead of allowing you to embrace an ever evolving learning process.
So what is Magical Thinking?
In essence it is a thought process that largely involves wishing and waiting.
Have you ever thought:
If I only had someone . . .my life would be better
If only he or she would change . . . my life would be better
When he or she has more time . . . my life would be better
After the kids are grown . . . I will be able to, (you fill in the blank)
If I love just a little bit more . . . then (blank) will happen
Next year things will be better
After he or she is gone I will be happy
Something is bound to happen soon
This isn’t the real him or her
I don’t have a problem he or she does
I wish he or she would see me for what I really am on the inside
If only I had done more he or she wouldn’t have left
If only I had been more positive or happy things would have been different
If only I had the house, car, job of my dreams my life would be better
If I was rich enough, thin enough or whatever I would finally be happy
It might be better to assume responsibility for your own life by realizing that great relationships and great achievements have more to do with relying on yourself, accepting your gifts and limitations than they do on magical thinking or the belief that something outside yourself can get it done for you.
In life there are magical moments but magical thinking won’t make them so!
I know this is a long post and I have included a video, but if you have ever thought of watching or buying the movie
“The Secret” watch this video first it is much better!